SIAM News Blog

SIAM Pacific Northwest 2nd Biennial Meeting

By Grady Wright and Nathan Ilten

The SIAM Pacific Northwest (PNW) Section was formed in 2016 to bring together different communities that are active in industrial and applied mathematics in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada (Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia). This is done through a number of activities, including organizing a quarterly online seminar series, coordinating interactions between regional SIAM student chapters, and promoting regional meetings. However, the unifying activity organized by the section are the biennial meetings. 

We are happy to report that our second biennial meeting that took place October 18-20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington was a big success. The meeting was held on the beautiful campus of Seattle University and attracted 173 participants from universities, national labs, and industry covering 14 different states and provinces - a much larger region than the Pacific Northwest! This was a 15% increase over the previous meeting and nearly 45% of the participants were students. 

Three engaging plenary talks were given at the meeting by Thomas Grandine (Boeing), Nathan Kutz (University of Washington), and Mark Lewis (University of Alberta) and covered topics in the areas of geometric design, mathematical biology, and data science. Additionally, 15 thematic sessions were organized with talks from 107 participants. These talks covered a diverse range of topics from scientific computing to algebraic geometry, and from machine learning to nonlinear waves, and had connections to numerous disciplines, including neuroscience, epidemiology, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and finance.

Pictured left to right: Katherine Owens, Grady Wright, and Javier Almonacid
Rounding out the events of the conference was a lively student poster session on Saturday evening with a poster blitz and floor presentations from 21 students. The winners of the Best Poster Prize for the meeting were Javier Almonacid (Simon Fraser University), Katherine Owens (University of Washington), and Camille Zaug (Seattle University).

In addition to SIAM, the meeting was supported by the College of Science and Engineering and Department of Mathematics at Seattle University, and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). This support went towards partially supporting the travel expenses for 17 students from the U.S. and Canada, rooms at the conference, and poster supplies.

A final big thanks goes to the co-chairs of the organizing committee: John Carter (Seattle U), Katie Oliveras (Seattle U), and Grady Wright (Boise State). 

We hope to see all our section members again at the next biennial meeting in 2021! 

Grady Wright is a professor of computational and applied mathematics at Boise State University. 
Nathan Ilten is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Simon Fraser, working in the field of algebraic geometry.

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